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Imran Khan: Pakistan’s strength will come from rapid export and industrial expansion

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that Pakistan’s economic strength and self-reliance depended on robust industrial growth and significant exports.

He asserted that inflation was decreasing and that the opposition’s “propaganda” of extraordinary price spikes in the country needed to be countered.

The prime minister also ordered all provincial chief secretaries to take strong measures to ensure the supply of urea by preventing its unlawful export to neighbouring countries, particularly Afghanistan.

Also read: Pakistan’s government wants to increase exports to $57 billion by 2025

Pakistan’s 70 years old friend China, he said, was ready to help Pakistan by all means to improve the latter’s economy. “But our problem is that we are still not ready for it,” he added.

Prime Minister Khan expressed these remarks in separate meetings and events.

Addressing a launching ceremony of Pak-China Business Investment Forum, he said: “By exporting only onion and vegetables, we cannot progress as industrial growth is must to improve the economy. Wealth creation of a country is impossible without industrial development while increasing exports supplement such efforts.”

He said China relocated its industries which landed in Thailand and Vietnam. “We have to take measures and give incentives to the business and industrialists to attract Chinese industries,” he added.

Pak-China Business Investment Forum is formed in collaboration with the Pakistan Board of Investment (BoI) and All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association with the objectives to promote investment by the Chinese companies in Pakistan and enhance business-to-business industrial cooperation.

The prime minister regretted that during the 1960s, Pakistan was moving towards industrialisation, but a nationalisation process choked the progress.

Mr Khan said different small countries in the world had increased their exports capacities.

He said the government had provided incentives to the IT sector and within two years, its exports had been doubled. Referring to China and Turkey, the prime minister observed that they made strides by enhancing their industrial and exports capabilities.

“The government took steps to stabilise the country’s economy, but unfortunately Covid pandemic had hit the entire world,” he said.

He also lauded the efforts of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to contain the coronavirus. “Pakistan coped with the pandemic, while our neighbouring countries including India and Iran were badly affected by the virus.

Also read: Lower exports, according to the PM, are the fundamental issue

The prime minister vowed that the government would take steps to control imports and termed money laundering as another big issue for developing and poor countries. The ambassador said the Chinese side was working closely with the Pakistani side to achieve the shared targets aimed at building future cooperation.

Referring to the UN fact-finding report, he said about $1,000 billion had been laundered from the poor countries to the rich states every year.

He expressed the confidence that in the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), they would have to focus on agriculture productivity.

Boosting agriculture

Chairing a separate meeting on Agriculture Transformation Plan, the prime minister directed all the provincial chief secretaries to take effective steps for the availability of urea and avoid its smuggling to the neighbouring countries.

He said the introduction of better mechanisation tools and ICT-enabled extension services, the agriculture sector will be revolutionised. “Olive cultivation and shrimp farming on a commercial scale is need of the hour to ensure food security in the country. It will also help in improving exports”, he said.

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